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Reviews of Eduwonk.com

2007 Winner, Editor's Choice Best Education Blog
-- Performancing.com

2006 Winner, Best K-12 Administration Blog -- "Best of the Education Blog Awards"
-- eSchool News and Discovery Education

2006 Finalist, Best Education Blog
-- Weblog Awards

Least influential of education's most influential information sources.
-- Education Week Research Center

"unexpectedly entertaining"..."tackle[s] a potentially mindfogging subject with cutting clarity... they're reading those mushy, brain-numbing education stories so you don't have to!"
-- Slate's Mickey Kaus

"a very smart blog... [if] you're trying to separate the demagogic attacks on NCLB from the serious criticism, this is the site to read"
-- The New Republic's Ryan Lizza

"everyone who's anyone reads Eduwonk"
-- Hechinger Institute on Education and the Media's Richard Colvin

"full of very lively short items and is always on top of the news...He gets extra points for skewering my high school rating system"
-- Jay Mathews, The Washington Post

"a daily dose of information from the education policy world, blended with a shot of attitude and a dash of humor"
-- Education Week

"designed to cut through the fog and direct specialists and non-specialists alike to the center of the liveliest and most politically relevant debates on the future of our schools"
-- The New Dem Daily

"peppered with smart and witty comments on the education news of the day"
-- Education Gadfly

"don't hate Eduwonk cuz it's so good"
-- Alexander Russo, This Week In Education

"the morning's first stop for education bomb-throwers everywhere"
-- Mike Antonucci, Intercepts

"…the big dog on the ed policy blog-ck…"
-- Michele McLaughlin, AFT Blog

"I check Eduwonk several times a day, especially since I cut back on caffeine"
-- Joe Williams, fallen journalist, Executive Director, Democrats for Education Reform

"...one of the few bloggers who isn't completely nuts"
-- Mike Petrilli, Thomas B. Fordham Foundation

"I have just three 'go to' websites: The Texas Legislature, Texas Longhorn sports, and Eduwonk"
-- Sandy Kress, former education advisor to President Bush and former chairman, Dallas Board of Education

"penetrating analysis in a lively style on a wide range of issues"
-- Walt Gardner, champion letter-to-the-editor writer and retired teacher

-- Susan Ohanian

Education News and Analysis

American Educator
Chronicle of Higher Education
Education Next
Education Week
eSchool News
Inside Higher Ed
Jay Mathews' Class Struggle
Phi Delta Kappan
New York Times Education
School Wise Press
Teacher Magazine

Policy and Political Blogs

The American Scene
Andrew Sullivan.com
Booker Rising
The Corner
Daniel Drezner
Dangerous Thoughts
The Democratic Strategist
The Has Been
Huffington Post
Loose Cannon
Matthew Yglesias
The Plank (TNR)
Political Animal (Washington Monthly)
The Politico
Post Global
Real Clear Politics
Taking Note
Think Tank Town
Volokh Conspiracy
WSJ's Blog Federation
Washington Whispers


Collective Bargaining in Education: Negotiating Change in Today's Schools

Edited by Jane Hannaway and Andrew J. Rotherham

Why Newsweek's List of America's 100 Best High Schools Doesn't Make the Grade

By Andrew J. Rotherham
and Sara Mead

A Qualified Teacher
in Every Classroom

Edited by Frederick M. Hess, Andrew J. Rotherham,
and Kate Walsh

America's Teaching Crisis

By Jason Kamras and Andrew J. Rotherham

Rethinking Special Education For A New Century

Edited by Chester E. Finn, Jr., Andrew J. Rotherham
& Charles R. Hokanson, Jr.

Making The Cut: How States Set Passing Scores on Standardized Tests

By Andrew J. Rotherham

Education Blogs

A Constrained Vision
Andrew Pass
a schoolyard blog
Assorted Stuff
Mr. B-G's English Blog
Barnett Berry
Bill Jackson's Education Blog
Bridging Differences (Meier and Ravitch)
Bulletin Board (NASBE)
Campaign K-12 (Ed Week)
Chaos Theory
Charter Blog (NAPCS)
Charter School Policy Inst. Blog
Chez Dormont
Chris Correa
Class Context
The College Puzzle
College Ready Blog (Athens Learning Group)
The Common School
Conversation Starters
Core Knowledge Blog
Critical Mass
Dangerously Irrelevant
Daryl Cobranchi
Dave Shearon
Dave Saba (ABCTE)
DC Education Blog
Dems for Education Reform
The Deputy Head
Early Ed Watch
Early Stories
Educated Nation
Educating One Mind
The Education Network
The Education Wonks
Edwize (UFT)
Eponymous Educator
Essential Blog
Extra Credit
Flypaper (Fordham)
Fordham Fellows
From The Trenches
The Gadfly
Get On The Bus (Dayton Daily News)
Get Schooled (AJC)
The Gradebook (St. Pete Times)
Grumpy Professor
The Hall Monitor
Higher Ed Watch
Hip Teacher
I Thought A Think
In Other News (Ed Week)
Inside Pre-K
Jay Greene
Jenny D.
John Merrow
K-12 Hotlinks
Kindling Flames
Kitchen Table Math
Learning Now (PBS)
The Life That Chose Me
Mathew K. Tabor
Media Infusion
Ms. Frizzle
Moving At The Speed Of Creativity
NCLB Act II (Ed Week)
NSBA's BoardBuzz
NYC Educator
Paper Trail (USN)
ParaNews (NCP)
Paul Baker
The Portable Princess
The PrincipalsPage
Principal's Policy Blog (NASSP)
Quasi Dictum
Roy Romer
Running on Empty
School of Blog
School Zone (MJS)
Schools for Tomorrow
Science After School
SF Schools
Sherman Dorn
SITE Mentor
Small Talk
Special Education Law Blog
Starting Over (Ed Week)
Swift & Change Able
Teach and Learn
Teacher Voices
Teachers At Risk
Teachers' Lounge
Teaching in the 408
Teaching Rookie
Think Lab
This is how I Swim
This Week In Education
Tim Fredrick
Up The Down Staircase
Urban Angle
What up, Mz. Smlph?
Whitney Tilson
Why Boys Fail
Why Homeschool

Educational Resources and Organizations

AALE Charter School Accreditation
Alliance for Excellent Education
American Association of School Administrators
American Educational Research Association
American Federation of Teachers
American Institutes For Research
Annie E. Casey Foundation
Aspen Institute
Asia Society
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
The Broad Foundation
The Brookings Institution
Building Excellent Schools
Center for American Progress
Center for Education Reform
Center for School Change
Center on Education Policy
Center on Reinventing Public Education
Citizens Commission On Civil Rights
Coalition of Essential Schools
Community College Research Center
Community Training and Assistance Center
Council of Chief State School Officers
Council of Great City Schools
Core Knowledge Foundation
Data Quality Campaign
Democratic Leadership Council
eSchool News
Education Commission of the States
Education Evolving
Education Sector
The Education Trust
George Lucas Educational Foundation
Haberman Foundation
Hechinger Institute On Education and the Media
Joyce Foundation
Just for the Kids
Knowledge Alliance
Learning Point Associates
Local School Directory
Michael and Susan Dell Foundation
Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning
The Mind Trust
National Academies Center for Education
National Alliance for Public Charter Schools
National Association of Charter School Authorizers
National Association of Secondary School Principals
National Center for Postsecondary Research
National Center on Education and the Economy
National Charter School Research Project
National Council on Teacher Quality
National Education Association
National Education Writers Association
National Governors Association
National Institute for Excellence in Teaching
National School Boards Association
New Leaders for New Schools
New Schools Venture Fund
The New Teacher Project
New Vision
Pre-K Now
Harvard's Program On Education Policy and Governance
Progressive Policy Institute
PPI's 21st Century Schools Project
Public Agenda
Public Impact
Reading Reform Foundation
Rick Hess' World HQ
The Savvy Source for Parents
Scholastic Administrator
School Data Direct
Standard & Poor's School Evaluation Services
Standards Work
Teach for America
The Teaching Commission
Thomas B. Fordham Foundation
Trust for Early Education
Uncommon Schools
United States Department of Education
The Urban Institute

Opinions on Eduwonk reflect the views of the author, Education Sector does not take institutional positions. Outgoing links do not constitute an endorsement.

Friday, August 27, 2004

AYP Veterans For Truth?

The other day Eduwonk came to the defense of the beleaguered Bushies in the Department of Education about the charter school data arguing that they were guilty only of ineptness not nefariousness. Anyway, it's still true on that issue, but this inordinate delay in releasing information about how Texas schools did under No Child Left Behind's standards for "adequate yearly progress" (AYP) stinks of nefariousness. That's in no small part because, conveniently enough, the delay in releasing the data will take us until right after the election in November.

Moreover, the state is making their school ratings (like many states Texas has state ratings and No Child Left Behind ones) available at the end of September so data on school performance do exist; it's not like we're waiting on a test the kids will take in October.

Four points to ponder:

*Will some enterprising souls, reporters perhaps, try to obtain and analyze the No Child data themselves?

*Will someone leak some of it? There must be a Democrat somewhere in the Texas Education Agency...

*Couldn't this be another case of the cover-up is worse than the crime? This election will not turn on whether or not Texas schools made "adequate yearly progress" but it could well turn on whether or not President Bush's administration can be trusted.

*Instead of lobbing cheap shots at charter schools, why isn't the NYT looking at this? It's a good chance to hit President Bush and, bonus, it's factually accurate!

Isn't this administration big on the idea of data and transparency? Release the records!

Update: Yoo hoo! NYT! Here's another legit story.

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Action On Student Loans, Federal Budget Nostalgia...And, Cheap Shot Thwarted!
TICAS, a new organization started by former Clinton White House aide Robert Shireman has released its first report. It's sure not a ringing endorsement of the student loan industry! But, if you follow this issue it is very much worth reading, as is this must read from NYT's Winter about student loans.

Does rooting for/against federal education spending really float your boat? Then you won't want to miss this new compendium of data spanning 1980-2003 from NCES. You can relive the lean years, the fat years, it's all here for a great trip down memory lane!

More on single-sex classes from CNN. Via Endless Faculty Meeting.

Attempted charter cheap shot in Dayton, OH, thwarted by good reporting. And, things are heating up on the anti-charter referendum in WA.

Finally, these new poverty and health insurance numbers are bad news.
Posted at 8:34 AM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Dear Dr. Janey:

The Washington Post offers four views about what the new D.C. schools superintendent should do. If you're short on time, here's the punchline:

Rick Hess: It's kicking ass!

Joe Viteritti: It's choice!

Larry Cuban: It's hopeless!

Ron Suskind: It's poetic!

DC Education Blog, where are you?

Update! He's back! And not truant...

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Pouring On "Hot Saucing"!
By popular demand following this post the other day, here is Eduwonk's one-stop shopping guide to hot-saucing: Wash Post story here, Poynter's Al Tompkins here, AU gets all worked up here, random internet chatters here.
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Second Year Report On Charter Schools In Indianapolis
The second year report on charter schools in Indianapolis is now available here. Overall encouraging news. Note the transparency in what the mayor there, Bart Peterson, is doing. These reports are a model not just for charter schools, but for all schools.

Local coverage via Indy Star here.
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Breaking News: Sky Not Falling In PA Because Of NCLB! Also, College Football, Shenanigans In CA, A Math Debate, And Bonus Bluegrass!
No Child Left Behind AYP results from PA. Punchline: Sky not falling there either.

In California the NEA pulled off an ambush and some political strong-arming. They're understandably very proud. This is clearly post it on the refrigerator caliber work! ABCTE has the facts on its side in all this, and today's licensing and credentialing system is demonstrably broken. Yet, ABCTE seems strikingly unable to execute, even in light of the challenging politics. If ABCTE were a stock Eduwonk would have to downgrade them to a "hold" right now.

Also in CA, Peter Schrag has more about the chaos that passes for education policymaking there. And, if you're really a CA political junkie, Mickey Kaus has more on Schwarzenegger's Pecker problem. David Pecker that is...get your minds out of the gutter!

RMN's Seebach (a mathematician by training) says don't draw too many math lessons from TIMSS or NCTM either! Who can you believe here? Perhaps we need TIMSS Veterans For Truth? Via Educationnews.org
Update: Joanne Jacobs has more.

College football formally kicks-off this Saturday with USC (-18) v. VA Tech* in Washington. To help everyone get in the spirit Wash Post's Schlabach takes a look at big time football schools that give players academic credit for football classes. It's a really good story and a legitimate gripe. A number of athletic directors at other schools (including some big time football ones) expressed surprise at the practice. But, in fairness, at most schools, including elite schools, there are plenty of cushy classes that upper-middle class non-athletes can take to avoid work and/or pad GPA's. If righteous indignation is the order of the day then some ought to be directed that way, too. What's the over-under on righteous outrage about this anyway?

NYT's Harmon takes an interesting look at how technology is modernizing bullying. Ah...progress...

If you, or someone you know, is considering teaching then this book by Ben Wildavsky and a team from U.S. News is must-reading. It's a thorough compilation of the policy debate and practical resources in every state.

Finally, mostly unrelated to education, but it's August. If you're a bluegrass fan be sure to check out the Biscuit Burners from Asheville, NC.

*USC is tough but if the Hokies can't cover 18 it could be a really long season...
Posted at 8:05 AM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Is This Rowback? Or, Does Samuel Freedman Just Think For Himself?

In today's New York Times emerging national treasure Samuel Freedman takes a look at the charter school flap that seems to implicitly note that the way the Times covered it was, well, tendentious and led to a polarizing rather than illuminating debate. Paging Mr. Okrent. Freedman's piece, a thoughtful must-read, makes the answer to the above question pretty obvious. The NYT has found gold here. It's great that this prominent education news analysis column has a voice, Freedman's voice, however, is conveniently backed up by evidence...

Also -- There is a full-page ad in today's NYT about all this. Mostly it's the usual suspects (plus a Nobel laureate who is not Friedman) but Paul Hill and Mary Beth Celio are on there, too, lending extra heft in the non-Kool-Aid drinking department. Loveless too, another non-imbiber.
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It's That Most Wonderful Time Of The Year...PDK -Gallup Time! Plus, Public Opinion Beach Reading!
The new Phi Delta Kappa-Gallup Poll on education is now available. Read it because it always gets a lot of play, but not because you're seeking too many insights into what the public thinks about public education. Although there are some interesting questions again this year, overall what was once a very useful barometer of public opinion has become a political exercise. For instance, some of the No Child Left Behind questions are factually flawed rendering the data basically worthless.

Moreover, in public opinion polls about issues they're not very familiar with, people have a tendency to say whatever is most accessible to them even if this means their views are contradictory. See this book for a good discussion on problems with opinion research. That issue seems to be very much in play here. For example, despite understandably reacting negatively to most of the various descriptions of NCLB, when asked if support for it would make them more or less likely to vote for a candidate, a comfortable margin of voters say "more likely." Vouchers engendered a similar, albeit more narrow, result. See tables 41 and 42.

Still, the voucher crowd will no doubt again holler about the choice questions. Mostly they're on shaky ground doing so because they cook their own questions, too. To read a good debate between Stanford's Terry Moe and Alex Gallup and Lowell C. Rose of Kappan about this, click here, here, and here. Moe plays it straight on this issue, if you're really interested in all this, his book Schools, Vouchers, and the American Public is well worth reading.

Bottom line? Surprise! Results vary depending on how questions are phrased and respondents have a frustrating tendency to say about anything. And, like a mutual fund, past results are no guarantee of future performance...
Posted at 8:15 AM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

Finance Equity, Action in DE...And, Non-Stop Kindergarten!
Sac Bee says bravo to the school finance settlement in California. Also on the equity issue, in Ed Week New York finance litigator Michael Rebell lays out the case for why adequacy suits matter. The Salt Lake Tribune is going to follow a kindergarten class all year. And, action on pay-for-performance in Delaware. Local coverage here.
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Tuesday, August 24, 2004

The Facts Of Life?

You just can't make this stuff up.

Remember Lisa Whelchel? She was Blair on "The Facts of Life" and the object of many an adolescent crush (though Eduwonk was always partial to Jo). Well, she's back in the public eye as an advocate for "hot saucing." Hot saucing is a bizarre form of discipline for kids involving applying hot sauces to their tongues as punishment (obviously, Louisiana parents will have to think of something else...).

For a lot of people, like these Washington Post readers (and Eduwonk), hot saucing leaves a bitter taste. But, if this is the new craze it could be great news for these folks...

No word on whether Tootie, Natalie, or Jo are also big on hot saucing. Let's hope not.
Posted at 4:38 PM | Comments: 0 | Link to this item | Email this post

Jay Mathews Double-Feature
Don't miss Jay Mathew's long and boffo feature look at KIPP schools in today's Washington Post Style section. It has history, status quo, and great anecdotes. Too many must-read bits in here to pull them all out.

Mathews writes that there is no organized opposition to KIPP. Presumably that was written before the events of the last week. Broadsides like the NYT's don't differentiate high and low-performing charter schools but simply indict them all.

Also, in his online column, Mathews looks at math instruction.
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SC Scandal Coming, NCLB Lawsuit Down, Goldstein & Howe...And, Witte v. NYT Smackdown!
Two SC professors have been fired for refusing to assign grades based on effort rather than merit. Chronicle of Higher Ed on this, too, here ($). This has all the ingredients to make some news.

Atlanta Journal Constitution weighs-in on the charter flap and Phil Andrews notes that charters are doing pretty well in magnolia country. Also, good news from Florida and Wisconsin (from John Witte who is certainly not a Kool-Aid drinking choicenik...). Here's Witte:

"...the editorial board of the New York Times was incautious and reckless when interpreting the report's findings on the August 18th editorial page. The AFT's report does not show many statistically significant findings, nor does the report's text claim to. Instead, when one considers two major educational factors, race of students and their families' income, the AFT's simple tables report that public charter school students do not achieve differently than similar traditional public school students."

And, The Times clarifies the charter school story here. The Washington Times...Meanwhile, EIA's Antonucci says all this is good news.

A Pennsylvania court has rejected a No Child Left Behind (NCLB) lawsuit there. This suit, which was not just a knee-jerk reaction against NCLB, alleged that the state had not done enough to help school districts meet the requirements of the law. Appeal coming. Decision here (pdf). More from NSBA's legal department here.

In Japan, a Northwestern trained researcher is having a big impact on education policy decisions there.

Good news from the U.K.

On the left you'll find a link to Scotusblog, a terrific resource for anyone following Supreme Court activities and appeals. The new Washington Monthly includes an article about whiz lawyer Tommy Goldstein who, along with his wife Amy Howe, are the Goldstein and Howe that produces Scotusblog. It's quite a story (and quite a blog).

School is starting for Hip Teacher, fun to keep up with this.
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Monday, August 23, 2004

NYT Update...And, Is The Education Sciences Reform Act Working?

Still no accountability for last week's hatchet job on charter schools. The apparent strategy is either "dig in heels" or "ignore." Sunday's Week in Review reiterated the findings with no additional context, and today's paper includes only a short letter from NCES Commissioner Robert Lerner.

Inside Baseball Afterthought: A big goal of the reorganization of the Department of Education's research operation in 2002 was trying to separate educational research from politics. The fact that the political folks at the Department of Education were blindsided by the revelation that NCES was working on its own analysis of the NAEP charter school data seems like evidence the new system is actually working...

Still, the Bushies should have known about the NYT story and been more proactively ready to deal with it. Even Eduwonk in the backwoods of Alaska with no Internet knew it was coming!

Update: A new blog, Miscellaneous Objections, written by Ryan Sager an editorial writer for the NY Post, has a lot more on the charter flap.
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Kessler On The Educational Passion Of President Bush
Writing on National Review Online Ronald Kessler offers education as one reason why many common perceptions about President Bush are wrong (full disclosure, Eduwonk has not read Kessler's book, just this essay). Kessler notes Bush's reading efforts in Texas and as President as evidence.

As far as it goes, it seems like Kessler is right. Eduwonk does not doubt that Bush (a) cares a great deal about the reading issue and (b) has sought to advance policies to improve reading instruction during his time in public life.

Yet Bush's concern about education is weak evidence to counter the perceptions of him as incurious and staff-driven. For starters, despite his concern about education, his administration has done a remarkably ham-handed job of policy implementation. And, even if Bush is intellectually curious about education (as many people Eduwonk respects argue he is) that's not evidence that he's eager to learn as much as he can about a host of other pressing issues. In fact, it makes his apparent unwillingness to all the more troublesome.
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